Air Efficiency Award

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Air Efficiency Award
Air Efficiency Award (George VI) v1.jpg
First King George VI version
TypeMilitary long service medal
Awarded forTen years service
Country Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Presented by the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India
EligibilityPart-time Air Force officers, airmen and airwomen
Post-nominalsAE (officers only)
Clasps Ten years additional service
StatusStill current in New Zealand
Established1942
First awarded1942
Ribbon - Air Efficiency Award.png
Ribbon bar
Order of wear
Next (higher) Royal Naval Auxiliary Service Medal
Next (lower) Volunteer Reserves Service Medal

The Air Efficiency Award, post-nominal letters AE for officers, was instituted in 1942. It could be awarded after ten years of meritorious service to officers, airmen and airwomen in the Auxiliary and Volunteer Air Forces of the United Kingdom and the Territorial Air Forces and Air Force Reserves of the Dominions, the Indian Empire, Burma, the Colonies and Protectorates. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

The award of the decoration was discontinued in the United Kingdom on 1 April 1999, when it was superseded by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal. The decoration is still being awarded in New Zealand, but between 1951 and 1975 it was superseded by local awards in other Dominions. [2] [4]

Institution

The Air Efficiency Award was instituted by Royal Warrant on 17 August 1942 as a long service award for part-time Auxiliary and Volunteer Air Force officers, airmen and airwomen in the United Kingdom, the Indian Empire, Burma, the British Colonies and Protectorates and those British Dominions whose governments desired to make use of the award. A clasp to the Award was subsequently instituted. [1] [8]

Since, at the time, the Air Efficiency Award was unique, being a decoration which could be conferred on officers and other ranks alike in recognition of the unique relationship between the officers and men of an aircraft crew, recipients were initially not granted the right to use post-nominal letters. The use of the post-nominal letters "AE" was only approved at some date between 27 October 1964 and 28 October 1982, and only in respect of officer recipients. [9] [10] [11]

Several Dominions adopted the Air Efficiency Award.

The first conferments of the Air Efficiency Award were announced in the press on 25 December 1942. [16]

Award criteria

The period of reckoned service required to qualify for the award was ten years, of which at least five years of actual service had to have been in an Auxiliary or Volunteer Air Force of the United Kingdom or the Dominions, Colonies, Protectorates, India or Burma. The award could also be made to any Princes or Princesses of the Blood Royal. [1] [3] [8]

The period of reckoned service required to qualify for the award of the clasp was a further ten years, subject to the same conditions as for the award of the medal. Further clasps could be awarded upon completion of each additional ten years of qualifying service. [3] [8] [17]

For those airmen and airwomen whose service commenced before 3 September 1939, the time served was reckoned as time-and-a-half. Service on flying duties with the Royal Air Force or any other Commonwealth Air Force during the Second World War between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945 was reckoned as treble time. Service on other than flying duties was normally reckoned as single time, but while embodied within the Royal Air Force or any Commonwealth Air Force during the Second World War, such service was reckoned as double time. [3] [17]

For service which commenced after 1 December 1948, service in a flying category was reckoned as time-and-a-half, while service in other than a flying category was reckoned as single time. [17]

Order of wear

In the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, the Air Efficiency Award takes precedence after the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service Medal and before the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal. [18]

South Africa

With effect from 6 April 1952, when a new South African set of decorations and medals was instituted to replace the British awards used to date, the older British decorations and medals which were applicable to South Africa continued to be worn in the same order of precedence but, with the exception of the Victoria Cross, took precedence after all South African decorations and medals awarded to South Africans on or after that date. Of the official British medals which were applicable to South Africans, the Air Efficiency Award takes precedence as shown. [18] [19] [20]

Ribbon - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.png Ribbon - Air Efficiency Award.png Union of South Africa Commemoration Medal (ribbon).png

Description

The medal was struck in silver and is oval, 38 millimetres (1.5 inches) high and 32 millimetres (1.26 inches) wide, with a raised rim on each side. It is suspended from a silver bar in the form of an eagle in flight, looking towards its left, affixed to the medal by means of a single-toe claw and a pin through the upper edge of the medal. [13] [21] [22]

Second King George V version Air Efficiency Award (George VI) v2.jpg
Second King George V version
Second Queen Elizabeth II version Air Efficiency Award (Elizabeth II) v2.jpg
Second Queen Elizabeth II version
Obverse

The obverse bears the uncrowned effigy of the reigning monarch. Four versions of the medal have been awarded. [8] [22]

Reverse

The reverse is smooth and is inscribed "AIR EFFICIENCY AWARD" in three lines. [13] [21] [22]

Clasp

The clasp was struck in silver and bore an eagle with outstretched wings, surmounted by a crown. [8] [22]

Ribbon

The ribbon is 38 millimetres wide, with a 13½ millimetres wide dark green band and a 4 millimetres wide pale blue band, repeated in reverse order and separated by a 3 millimetres wide dark green band. [1] [13] [21] [22]

Discontinuation

In the United Kingdom and some countries of the Commonwealth, the Air Efficiency Award was gradually superseded by new medals. [4] [27]

New Zealand continues to award the Air Efficiency Award. [2]

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 New Zealand Defence Force - New Zealand Long Service and Good Conduct Medals - The Air Efficiency Award (Accessed 2 August 2015)
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  4. 1 2 3 Defence and Armed Forces - Guidance - Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility - Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (Accessed 3 August 2015)
  5. 1 2 3 McCreery, Christopher (2011). The Canadian Forces' Decoration (PDF). Ottawa: Directorate of Honours and Recognition National Defence Headquarters. pp. 13–14, Long Service Recognition Eligibility Timeline. (Accessed 26 May 2015)
  6. 1 2 South African Medal Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975 (Accessed 30 April 2015)
  7. 1 2 3 Medals of Service - Air Efficiency Award Miniature (Accessed 2 August 2015)
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  11. The London Gazette: no. 49522. pp. 14201-14202. 28 October 1983 (Accessed on 3 August 2015)
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  20. Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, OCLC   72827981
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